Texas Tech draws world-renowned cotton scientist

Texas Tech draws world-renowned cotton scientist

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Texas Tech gets a whole lot of research money and a world-renowned scientist. 

With a $5 million grant from the Governor's University Research Initiative, matched by the University, Tech is able to lure Luis Rafael Herrera-Estrella, a National Academy of Science Member. He is also a well-known researcher in cotton genomics.

"This is an enormous achievement for Texas Tech," University President Lawrence Schovanec said. "It's our first National Academy of Science member. But, more than just that, it's doing research in areas that are really important to the traditional strengths of Texas Tech and to the industries in West Texas and that being cotton."

Herrera-Estrella and his team will develop an institute that examines how plants adapt to thrive in the presence of environmental stresses, such as extreme heat and drought. Something common to West Texas.

"I think when he was evaluating where he wanted to go, what he could do here, all of those factor into it," Schovanec said. "And also, it's very important to emphasize that our existing relationship with Bayer Crop Science was a vital part of his recruitment."

Mike Gilbert, vice president of global breeding and trait development for Bayer Crop Sciences, issued this statement:

Bayer values the ongoing collaboration that it has with Texas Tech in the area plant science and congratulates the university on the very significant addition of Dr. Herrera-Estrella to the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources."

Herrera-Estrella is expected to begin his work on-campus in October. 

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